As a team, we share a desire to preserve the ancient knowledge of metallurgy, specifically the process of copper smelting. Through the preservation of this historical livelihood, we aim to educate others on late Chalcolithic Era economy and social structures that were found in the Southern Levant. Together, we hope to foster a religious and scholarly passion for the Middle East and its diverse, ancient peoples.
What it does
Our unique VR simulation engages the user in the ancient process of copper smelting. The user is able to explore a late Chalcolithic Era site known as Khirbat Nuqayb al-Asaymir (specifically Area Z) and is taken through a simple smelting experience in which the player is able to use copper ore and convert into a form of pure copper that can be used for forging various tools, such as large basins that were used for melting sugar (a very important industry in a nearby community).
How I built it
We used multiple virtual reality softwares, such as Unity and Blender, and another image manipulation software, GIMP, to unite 3D and 2D archaeological data to construct a virtual environment that upholds the site's historical accuracy.
Challenges I ran into
We encountered multiple challenges in our early stages of programming, predominantly issues of motion sickness and lack of experience in the coding field. During the later stages of production, we faced problems establishing the minor details of the various artifacts around the site.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are particularly proud of the fact that we were able to program a new model that was not previously available to us through a pre-made downloadable package.
What I learned
From the perspective of the archaeologists, we were able to learn more about various coding programs and how to interact with a virtual reality world. Through the perspective of the engineer, we were able to develop an understanding of ancient Jewish cultures.
What's next for SmeltingSimulator
With many high hopes, we would like to inspire others to engage in the world of cyber-archaeology and early Jewish studies. If we encounter a high demand to continue with this project, we would gladly develop this program and further incorporate an complete historically-accurate world in order to incorporate multiple educational features and more diverse user interactions.